Sporting figures are to be banned from gambling and lottery adverts under new rules from The Committee for Advertising Practice, beginning in October 2022.

The governing body has explained that any sports star that hasa ‘strong appeal’ with young people, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, must not appear in gambling adverts in a bid to protect people from gambling harms.

The announcement comes at a time when the organisation, which is responsible for the UK advertising and marketing code, works towards safeguarding young people and vulnerable audiences.

The new rules also include celebrities and social media influencers who are “likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture”.

Shahriar Coupal, Director of CAP, commented: “By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting.”

Last month, Former England and Arsenal footballer Paul Merson, who became addicted to gambling himself, told BBC Sport that it “sickens” him to see former players and managers in gambling adverts.

In his documentary, Merson stated that adverts on TV are a “major trigger” for those with addictions, and that he has been campaigning for the laws to change.

Harry Redknapp has previously appeared in ads for Betvictor, along with many other figures in the sports industry, but it has been suggested that football is seen as one of the ‘key routes’ for where young people are targeted.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), concluded that BGC takes a “zero tolerance approach” to gambling by those under the age of 18 and that the group “enforces the toughest possible action”.

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